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BAGHDAD: Bombings near Baghdad yesterday killed two people despite tighter security a day after attacks mostly against Shias during the Eid holiday killed 31 people in Iraq’s deadliest day this month.
The shootings and bombings on Saturday, which also wounded more than 100 people, were the latest in a spate of violence in the past week that has broken a relative calm, and came even though authorities had announced moves to boost security during the four-day Eid break. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the wave of attacks.
In Baghdad, where Saturday’s deadliest attacks struck, security forces tightened searches at existing checkpoints, witnesses reported, though traffic remained light with fewer cars on the streets as a result of Eid. But despite the anecdotally tighter security, multiple bombings in the town of Madain, just southeast of the capital, killed two people and wounded 10 others, officials said.
In Sadr City, northeast Baghdad, twin car bombs on Saturday left 13 people dead and 52 wounded, officials said, while a bombing in a market in Maamal neighbourhood killed five people.
“My children will stay at home today,” said Mustafa Jalil, a resident of Sadr City. “They are afraid to go outside because of yesterday’s attack. I went out this morning, and I saw all the children from my neighbourhood were playing just outside their homes.”
Jalil said that because of security in the area, trucks were not allowed into the local market, which lacked groceries and vegetables as a result.
Shia in Iraq typically use the Eid holiday to visit relatives, the graves of dead family members or shrines of key figures.
In the run-up to the holiday, authorities in several provinces, including Baghdad, announced tightened security, apparently to no avail. In Mosul, 350km north of Baghdad, three attacks targeting the tiny Shabak community, killed five people and wounded 10. The community numbers about 30,000 people living in 35 villages in Nineveh.
They were persecuted under former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and after the 2003 US-led invasion they were targeted several times by Al Qaeda.